Senator: ‘Protectionist Trade Policy Counterproductive’

March 19, 2018 01:15 PM

President Trump has voiced protectionist thoughts on trade since he began campaigning for office, but his protectionists actions on trade are counterproductive in the eyes of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS).

In regards to the North American Free Trade Agreement, Roberts says it feels as though the U.S. is “walking on eggs right now.”

His main concern is that Mexico is looking to other countries to buy corn and wheat, which could greatly impact farmers. He says when the original agreement was crafted in 1996, there were problems, but the negotiating team worked them out. 

“I think we can modernize NAFTA without having to get to a situation where both Canada and Mexico find it very difficult to work with the administration,” he says. “We're working with the administration and we have a full team helping Bob Lighthizer with these efforts, and if we can achieve some accord with Mexico to Canada, that’s the best thing that we could have happen.”

On the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Roberts would like to see the U.S. rejoin the pact from both a trade and a national security standpoint. He says countries in the Asia Pacific need to know that the U.S. is a reliable supplier and good partner.

“TPP is not only an opportunity for our presence in the Pacific and more especially what we could do on behalf of agriculture trade, but it's also a national security component as well,” Roberts says. “I hope the President takes a hard look at that and perhaps how we can get back in.”

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Spell Check

Augusta, ME
3/20/2018 08:07 AM

  After what trump has said and done, his whole over-the-top nationalistic attitude, and attitude towards our friends and allies, we don't deserve to be in the TPP!

Eastern, NE
3/20/2018 07:14 AM

  If Roberts is serious, more than just mumbling about it, he needs to be in Trump's face daily on trade. Roberts doesn't have the kahunies for that. Just another spineless Republican!!

paul hillmeyer
cokato, MN
3/20/2018 09:44 AM

  It,s a little late to the party so to speak, Mexico and other countries are already looking elsewhere, why couldn't we go quietly in making changes, agriculture didn't need this now or at anytime when we depend so much on exports, we have so little clout in congress the way it is, we need all demand for our products we can get and all this blustering talk only makes it worse, I'm sure all agreements have its faults but why not sit down and work them out instead of blowing them up, it has already been proven to much protectionism does not work so well, anyway my thoughts!!!


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